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Free Cochlear Implant ProgrammeThe Swasthya Seva Manch(Health Service Forum) of Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Uttar Poorvanchal organized a free Cochlear Implant (a very expensive imported lifelong hearing device) programme for deaf and dumb children in association with Max Hospital, Saket, New Delhi and Snehalaya, an NGO of Tinsukia working in the field of differently able persons . Dr. Sanjay Sachdeva, Head of ENT and Head & Neck Surgery, Max Hospitals, visited Tinsukia in the month of May 2017 to screen patients. 

In the screening camp six children were selected by him for the surgery. After counseling the parents, it was decided that three children will be send to Delhi for surgeries in July 2017. Accordingly Urmi Moran (2yrs.and7months), Ristina Buragohain(4 yrs.) and Arpita Gogoi(4yrs.and 6 months) were sent to Delhi along with their parents and on 30th July, they got the approval for surgeries. In next three days, they were operated at Max Hospital, Delhi by Dr.Sachdeva and his highly skilled and dedicated team and the internal part of the device were successfully implanted. After two days, they were sent back home.

After four weeks they had to visit Delhi again to switch on the device and the 31st August 2017 was fixed for that purpose. Accordingly they reached Max Hospital on that day and under the guidance of Dr.Shruti Sahni (Senior Audiologist) and technicians, the devices were switched on. It was a memorable moment for all of us to watch the reactions of the children, who were listening to sounds first time in their life. 

The third and very crucial part of this entire exercise is speech therapy, which will be given to these children very soon at Snehalaya free of cost. 

All these three children are from economically poor families background. Without the help from Max Hospital, Saket,Delhi, Cochlear (Australian manufacturer of the device), Amplifone (Audiology experts) it wouldn’t had been possible to have these implants free of cost. In this endeavor a major setback occurred due to relentless flood which disrupted the train connectivity between North-East and the rest of the country. A moment came when we all despaired that the second trip to Delhi would be cancelled. At this crucial juncture the most encouraging incident occurred, when on our request the Prime Ministers National Relief Fund (PMNRF) immediately reserved flight tickets for children and parents to Delhi. 

After the successful completion of the first phase, we are planning to organize the second screening camp in October 2017 to find more economically poor deaf and dumb children.  Feeling the need of this area for more such programmes Dr Sachdeva has offered all possible assistance to treat more deaf and dumb children and help them to lead a normal life.  

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